Tips for Working at Home

Claire Choi, Staff Writer 

I associate my home as a place of comfort, a sanctuary to come to after a long day of working. For the past few years, my daily routine has consisted of going to school, then extracurriculars, and then a local coffee shop or library to finish homework. The minute I step into my home I feel unproductive and start to lose focus. So if you’re like me and have had a hard time adjusting to distance learning, here are a few tips and mistakes I’ve learned to help you get back on track.
1. Don’t work in your bed
I know it’s tempting to have an endless cushion while studying. Or maybe you feel like you’re saving time by waking up with your work right in front of you. But I have learned from many instances of falling asleep with Canvas assignments still open on my computer that you can’t have the best of both worlds, and often comfort implies lower productivity. 
2. Change and get ready like you would normally
Being stuck at home means that you don’t need to dress for school anymore, and you can rock a set of PJs all day. But what I realized was that feeling dressed to go somewhere psychologically boosts my motivation to work and start my day. 
3. Set an alarm
It doesn’t have to be at 6am, but consistently waking up at a time will help you retain structure to your day and get a head start on what you want to accomplish. I have noticed that when I turned off my alarms that first week without school, I started sleeping and waking up later sometimes I would watch the sun rise before I went to sleep. It made me feel sluggish and it was harder to get on track. So getting your REM cycle in check is important!
4. Make a plan and routine
Planning isn’t for everyone, but personally, restarting my planner has helped me visualize my goals for the next few months and prioritize things. Giving myself deadlines has motivated me to stay on top of my work. Overall, planning has made me see the future in a more positive light despite living in a bleak reality. 
5. Remove distractions
For me, it has been hard to see my home as a productive place of learning. What has helped a lot though is turning off my phone completely, making a study playlist without lyrics (I recommend Justice Der), and designating a place for me to work every day.
6. Take breaks/reward yourself
Just because we are in quarantine, doesn’t mean you can’t see the sun again. At one point I didn’t go outside for a week straight, but once I started going on short walks and getting in my daily rays, my mood has improved significantly. Taking breaks to exercise can help you regain concentration. Treat yourself!